Archive for September, 2008

New Orleans

Posted in Uncategorized on September 20, 2008 by lexis2praxis

How can I feel such a connection to a place where I’ve never been?

So many personal histories, tragedies and victories and the somber beauty of everyday life, are woven into the stories about this place.  I have been reading residents’ blogs for a long time and am now ready to join the rebuilding effort.  Once there, I will blog about the things I encounter.

I am going to New Orleans in December, to embark on a project about the levees and how people live with them, how they talk about them, and how they rebuild them.  I am interested in how the levees are political, and how their neglect resulted in violence against people, including populations that in popular discourse were referred to as “refugees”, foreigners in their homeland.  I am interested in how Katrina was more than just a storm.

This is an anthropological project, and also a creative one.


The Dry Salvages

Posted in Art, Nature with tags , , , on September 20, 2008 by lexis2praxis

(No. 3 of ‘Four Quartets’)

T.S. Eliot

(The Dry Salvages—presumably les trois sauvages—is a small
group of rocks, with a beacon, off the N.E. coast of Cape Ann,
Massachusetts. Salvages is pronounced to rhyme with assuages.
Groaner: a whistling buoy.)


I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
Is a strong brown god—sullen, untamed and intractable,
Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier;
Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce;
Then only a problem confronting the builder of bridges.
The problem once solved, the brown god is almost forgotten
By the dwellers in cities—ever, however, implacable.
Keeping his seasons and rages, destroyer, reminder
Of what men choose to forget. Unhonoured, unpropitiated
By worshippers of the machine, but waiting, watching and waiting.
His rhythm was present in the nursery bedroom,
In the rank ailanthus of the April dooryard,
In the smell of grapes on the autumn table,
And the evening circle in the winter gaslight.

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